How to Say Hospital in Sign Language: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to say “hospital” in sign language! Sign language is a beautiful way of communication, providing a means for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities to interact and express themselves. In this guide, we’ll explore both formal and informal ways to sign “hospital,” giving you the tools to effectively communicate this important word. We’ll also touch on regional variations, although sign language generally transcends regional borders. So, let’s get started!

Formal Ways to Sign “Hospital”

When it comes to formal signing, it’s important to be clear and precise to ensure effective communication. Here are a few formal ways to sign “hospital” in different sign languages:

American Sign Language (ASL)

In American Sign Language, “hospital” is signed by placing your non-dominant hand, palm facing upwards, in front of you at chest level. With your dominant hand in the “H” handshape, tap your non-dominant palm twice, representing the roofs of two hospital buildings. You can also emphasize the word by slightly bouncing your hand.


  • To sign “hospital” in ASL, tap your non-dominant hand twice with your dominant hand in the “H” handshape while slightly bouncing your hand.

“Having a clear sign for ‘hospital’ is crucial in emergencies. Remember to practice and reinforce your ASL skills regularly to ensure effective communication.”

British Sign Language (BSL)

In British Sign Language, the sign for “hospital” consists of both hands held at chest height, palms facing downwards. Move both hands forward and simultaneously twist them slightly upwards. This movement represents the cross shape often seen on hospital signs.


  • To sign “hospital” in BSL, move both hands forward at chest height while twisting them slightly upwards.

“Being able to sign ‘hospital’ accurately in BSL can greatly assist in emergency situations. Practicing regularly will help you retain this important sign.”

Australian Sign Language (Auslan)

In Australian Sign Language, the sign for “hospital” involves using your dominant hand in the “A” handshape. Hold your thumb against your forehead and rotate your hand down and away from your face. This motion represents the red cross symbol commonly associated with hospitals.


  • To sign “hospital” in Auslan, hold your thumb against your forehead and rotate your hand down and away from your face using the “A” handshape.

“Mastering the sign for ‘hospital’ in Auslan can greatly contribute to effective communication and understanding. Consistent practice will enhance your signing skills.”

Informal Ways to Sign “Hospital”

While formal signs are essential for clear communication, informal ways of signing “hospital” can develop from regional variations, personal preferences, or community slang. These signs may not be universal but can help build connections within specific groups. Let’s explore some informal ways to sign “hospital”:

Informal Variation: ASL

A regional variation in American Sign Language uses the “H” handshape to tap your cheek twice instead of tapping the non-dominant palm. This variation is common in certain communities and can be useful for informal contexts.


  • In some communities using ASL, you can sign “hospital” by tapping your cheek twice with your dominant hand in the “H” handshape.

“Informal variations, like tapping your cheek twice to sign ‘hospital’ in ASL, can help you connect with specific communities or friends. However, it’s important to remember that these variations may not be understood by everyone.”

Informal Variation: BSL

In informal settings, some British Sign Language users may use the gesture of placing one hand flat on top of their head, representing a hospital building’s roof. Although this variation is not universal, it can be encountered among certain groups or in casual conversations.


  • An informal way to sign “hospital” in BSL might involve placing one hand flat on top of your head, representing the roof of a hospital building.

“Informal variations, such as placing your hand on top of your head to sign ‘hospital’ in BSL, can create a stronger sense of connection within specific social circles or informal settings.”

Informal Variation: Auslan

While Auslan generally follows the formal sign mentioned earlier, some individuals may use a more casual sign where they mimic a person embracing themselves with open arms, indicating a place of care. Although not common across the entire Auslan community, it can be seen in certain groups.


  • In some situations, you may encounter an informal Auslan sign for “hospital” where individuals use open arms to mimic a person embracing themselves.

“Informal signs like using open arms to represent embracing oneself can create a sense of intimacy or community within specific circles. Respect and awareness of individual signing preferences are essential for effective communication.”


Communicating in sign language empowers the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, fostering inclusive and meaningful exchanges. Now that you’ve learned various formal and informal ways to sign “hospital” in different sign languages, you have the tools to confidently communicate this crucial word. Remember to practice regularly and remain open to regional variations or personal preferences, as they can enhance your connection with specific communities. Happy signing!

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